This write up is about Periodization. Periodization is all about re-prioritizing what you do to make semi-permanent gains in one area while you maintain, or regress slightly in another area. Periodization works because of this fact: it is easier to maintain or regain something than make new gains. Making new gains requires you to go in hard, the only way to do that is to draw resources from something else temporarily. So if you want to learn acrobatics as a bodybuilder, then do this: maintain or continue building your weakest features (body parts), temporarily stop training your strongest features (body parts) while you prioritize acrobatics or tricking.
In my own case, my back, upper legs, shoulders and traps are all strong points of mine. My arms and chest are my weak points. I was dealt the genetic shit end of the stick for arms and chest, and have a shorter training history for these parts, so my arms and chest are highly susceptible to regression.
So when it's time for me to re-prioritize to a tricking/acrobatic centric training block, I simply stop training my back, upper legs, shoulders, and traps almost completely. I almost do not have to do anything to maintain my strongest features, they just stick around. And whatever loss happens in these areas is recovered within just a few short weeks of resuming hard training in these areas. This is not the case for my arms and chest: when I make losses in arms and chest it is a bitch for me to regain them. This is why I train arms/chest year round. So I might do arms/chest as much as 3 days a week, even during tricking/acrobatic training blocks.
So bodybuilders and physique trainers, consider this my suggestion to you if you want to put in a 12-16 week training block focusing on acrobatics to become acrobolic: maintain or continue training only your weakest features, and stop training your strongest features for that block. Learn some breadwinner moves like a backflip, aerial, front flip, or a kick. Simple enough. Here are some previous periodization write ups on this website for more information regarding Acrobolix and periodization.
Prioritizing acrobatics for bodybuilders
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Hi Austin :-)
Nice question, but will require a bit of a complicated answer. If someone is really a dedicated/competitive style trickster, I’d recommend prioritizing bodybuilding with a balanced approach in the winter (November-February) and doing it with free time here and there the rest of the year. Would take a few years for a difference to be seen with this approach. For someone comfortable with the idea of putting tricking/acrobatics on the back burner for an extended period of time, then “becoming a bodybuilder” for an entire year is definitely the way to go in my opinion. That includes everything though: meal preparation, training methodologies (detailed isolation work and “chasing the pump”), learning to tan/shave/pose extreme dietary manipulations, carry themselves like bodybuilders, supplementation, the works. Basically use a year to become a bodybuilder, then start tricking again thereafter. See what grew the best. See what stays and what goes when switching back to tricking.
All of this is really a long term perspective, but, just think about where you were 1-3 years ago and consider if you had these type of long term projects free of short-term interest… how much better it would have been for us if we stayed disciplined a certain way with the big picture in mind without regard to short term setback or temporary “loss” with periodizing things this way.
My stupid calfs, lol.
how do you get your back that big juji?
I want one
12-16 weeks is probably enough to get into tricking, and you might have mentioned this before, but what about a trickster who wants to try some bodybuilding? I’m thinking the general gains in that time would be noticeable, but they wouldn’t have any one part that makes enough progress unless they are pretty gifted.
Would you recommend a longer time for someone in that category? Maybe 10-12 months to start and see what areas of their body do or do not grow easily.
And then would they try to retain their worst tricks?